Reader Q&A #1
As more of you visit the blog I’ve gotten an increasing number of questions – which I love and am happy to answer! I sometimes reply directly in the comment thread where the question is posed but, for those of more general interest I thought I’d answer them here in a post. Here goes!
Q: I have a very active metabolism and I tend to want to eat a lot before bed, I know this isn’t usually encouraged. Are there any good foods to eat before bed that would be better for me and my sleep/dreams? Or do I need to stop that altogether?
A: Well, this is actually a complicated question. Generally, natural healing systems frown on eating soon before bed so as to go to sleep with undigested food in your stomach. Ayurveda has a saying: Eat no more when the clock strikes four. (Yikes! Done with dinner by 4:00 pm? No dessert?) The idea is to be finished with digesting any and all food before falling asleep. Since this digestion takes 2-4 hours, you don’t have a lot of leeway.
But… all rules were meant to be broken. If, like you, a person has a fast metabolism (pitta people), and the food slips out of the stomach sooner, you are graciously allowed to eat closer to bedtime. In fact, you are encouraged to, to keep your blood sugar and nutrient levels up and adequate in your blood. And vata people, who have insufficient digestive energy and tend toward low blood sugar, often do well with a before bed snack-something like a whole grain cookie and warm milk with cinnamon and clove, that will help stabilize the blood sugar during the night.
Ultimately, the rules are just there to help you learn about yourself, and how to keep yourself balanced and healthy.. Feel free to adjust your program to make it fit your needs more closely.